Canada Goose and the FDNY Foundation have teamed up to unveil the brand’s “Bravest Coat.”
The Canadian outerwear company will donate all proceeds of the $695 limited-run item to the nonprofit, which specializes in fire safety education. In addition to outreach programs for the public, the group provides training and support for FDNY fire and EMS workers, as well as technology and equipment for the department.
The unisex wind-resistant jacket with reflective stripes and metal clasps is being sold in Canada Goose stores in New York City, Toronto, London and Tokyo and through the company’s web site. It is adorned with the foundation’s emblem on the left chest. For a customizable element, consumers will receive a selection of five official FDNY Firehouse patches that they can change as they see fit on the Velcro patch on the garment’s right sleeve.
Noting the Toronto-based company’s 60-year heritage and experience making products for industrial workers, researchers and in some cases first responders, Canada Goose’s chief product officer Lee Turlington said the initiative was an opportunity “to honor the people who protect the people in the city that we have such a strong relationship with.” Canada Goose opened a SoHo boutique in November 2016. A few FDNY firefighters were photographed and filmed for a Canada Goose campaign touting the collaboration.
FDNY Foundation’s chairman Stephen Ruzow said this one-time campaign will include a 400-unit limited run. The clothing collaboration is a first for the nonprofit. “We would be open to more programs with other manufacturers or brands. Obviously, the FDNY is a very strong brand as is Canada Goose,” he said. “We are very protective of our brand. We are the official not-for-profit for the New York City Fire Department so we take that very seriously.”
Currently, the FDNY has 11,000 firefighters and upwards of 3,500 EMTs and paramedics. On average, the FDNY Foundation donates about $7 million annually to the department, with the majority of that going to fire safety education. The group has contributed more than $120 million since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Ruzow. A recent program led to the installation of 130,000 smoke and CO2 alarms in high-risk fire neighborhoods at no charge. “Basically, anything that is not funded by the city, we try to fund for the department,” said Ruzow, who served for eight years as president and chief operating officer of Donna Karan International.
Although he doesn’t miss his former career, his fashion know-how was put to use years ago when the FDNY Fire Zone, an interactive educational center, opened in Rockefeller Center. “I had just joined the board and I was looking at the plans and said, ‘Where’s the store? Whoever heard of a museum without a store?’” When others indicated they knew nothing about stores, Ruzow offered, ‘Well, I know a little about stores, retail and wholesale. So I quote-unquote designed a line of merchandise for the store. And when the store opened, Tom [Von Essen, former FDNY commissioner] promoted me to honorary fire commissioner which was probably the highlight of my life.”